Relationshipism: We Need Psychological Safety

InsiderPosted | Category: BRM Community, BRM Philosophy, Professional Development, Relationshipism | Contributed

What We Really Need from Work

The wave of dissatisfaction at work is strange because organizations now have access to decades of scientific research about how to make jobs better.

We have so much evidence about what people truly need. Basic financial security, of course, is critical. As is a sense that our jobs won’t disappear unexpectedly.

What’s interesting, however, is that once you can provide financially for yourself and your family, additional salary and benefits don’t reliably contribute to more satisfaction.

No magic salary exists at which point a bad job becomes good. Rather, purposeful careers stem from more important things like relationships, autonomy, purpose and especially trust.

Psychological Safety Comes from Trust

There is a kind of universal hidden language; and that is called ‘trust’. When we distrust, we activate our ‘fear-network’. Consequently, fear locks all doors to the parts that we need to think and feel empathy, leaving little room for psychological safety.

Conversely, when we feel safe, the brain opens up. Only then we can properly listen and connect to prime conversations for mutual success. Being kind, reliable, respectful and compassionate creates a field of power.

The trust level on a team serves as a far better indicator and predictor of results than the individual performance metrics of team members, which are only numeric representations of the good or bad energy swirling around. Thus, it is crucial to create safe work-environments where you can share failure and mistakes. We can only be innovative and successful when we can learn from failures and roadblocks.

Overall, we must pay attention to the emotional mirror created by the people around us.

Do they light up when working with you?

Are they engaged, energized and putting in effort?

People want to work alongside others whom they respect (and enjoy spending time with) and who seem to respect them in return.

Relationships are built on trust.

Play for Purpose

Work plays an enormous role in determining people’s self-worth. People want to go to work and feel valued. People want to go work with other caring people and feel great about what they have accomplished. When people feel good about themselves at work, they go home and treat their families, friends, and communities better.

Ultimately, humans are motivated by their confidence in, and momentum towards, a purpose.

Life is not about success. As Albert Einstein once famously said, “try not to become a man of success; but rather try to become a man of value.”

Knowledge about the social needs of our brain, such as psychological safety, is powerful. Moreover, we know that business is all about relationships. How well we build our relationships determines how well we build our business.

About the Author – The 2019 World BRMConnect Keynote Speaker!

Daniëlle Hellebrand

Daniëlle Hellebrand

Daniëlle Hellebrand worked for 20 years in the Human Resource field.
In 2011 she quit her corporate job and dove into the world of psychology, neurobiology and cognitive neurosciences.

Currently, Daniëlle works as an executive coach, columnist and keynote speaker at [email protected] and ECO-international.

She is interested in applying neuroscience discoveries to building corporate relationships, coaching, and leadership. She encourages people to make practical use of what is known about the brain. To create more brain-wise and inspiring workplaces.

Her website is:

Or connect with her on LinkedIn

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